We're restarting a conversation in our church.
A few years ago, Adam, Elisa, Jackie, and a few others helped us start thinking about house churches. The basic idea was that once a month, we wouldn't have a regular worship service. Instead, we would have smaller groups meet in homes around town. There were two basic motivations: 1) To shake up the concept of "church" as a worship service or a place, and 2) To help people get to know each other more deeply.
But this idea seemed so difficult to get started logistically and conceptually, that it kind of faded away.
At our November pastors meeting, Matt, SuJin, and I resurrected this basic concept under a new heading: FAMILY GROUPS. We are thinking of a few little changes that might make it more workable. 1) We would actually meet in the Nazarene Building (the same building where we worship together every Sunday). We would just divide up into classrooms. 2) We would only do it every other month. 3) We would still meet in a big group to sing together. Then we would split into the different classrooms.
We still have to work out the logistics about how to divide people up into the different family groups, but we have some ideas on how to do that.
The basic structure would be that each family group would have a team of 4-6 hosts. Then we will add people to each group, trying to keep each group diverse in age, sex, and culture. The hosts will be responsible for preparing the food, leading the activities and discussions, making announcements, etc. Each family group will have a brunch-style meal together - something like breads, fruits, and drinks. They will spend some time just chatting. Then there will be a discussion about a Bible text and maybe a video on a connected theme. Then, they will share honest prayer requests with each other and pray for each other right then and there. And that's pretty much it. Hopefully, the hosts will do some follow-up care as well.
The basic goals would be:
1) Knowing and being known,
2) Praying for and with each other,
3) Mixing generations and cultures,
4) Increasing participation and ownership.
If anybody out there has any thoughts on this, I'd be happy to hear what you have to say. Also, if your church does something like this (or if you know of one that does), please post a comment.